Air Fryers are among the favorite new kitchen appliances right now but everyone is wondering, can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer? Home cooks are always looking for new, fun, better and easier ways to cook in the kitchen. Easy clean up is also at the top of that list.
Nobody wants a big mess to clean up after making dinner, am I right? Using aluminum foil in your air fryer basket seems like a great way to avoid a mess and allow for easy clean up.
Is it going to spark up like it does in the microwave? There are lots of questions surrounding the question of, can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer. The short answer is yes, lets talk about the best way to do so.
Try my Falafel Pita in the air fryer! Air frying directions in the Tips section and the Notes section of the recipe card.
How does an air fryer work?
An air fryer works much like a convection oven. It involves a heating element and air circulation. There is a fan inside of the air fryer that blows around the hot air and allows for better heat distribution and even cooking.
During the cooking process high temperatures are reached then the air circulation is used for a quick cooking method. This is different than a microwave oven which involves “microwaves’ being produced by a magnetron.
These “microwaves” inside a microwave oven are what causes aluminum foil to spark up inside. Since the air fryer uses a different cooking process that will not happen.
Do’s and Don’ts of putting aluminum foil in an air fryer
- Put the aluminum foil in the bottom of the fryer basket. Lining the fryer basket with aluminum foil is a great way for home cooks to allow for an easy cleanup
- Put a small amount of foil in the air fryer basket. Only a little foil is needed
- Check the manufacture’s suggestions. Although using aluminum foil in most air fryers is safe, you always want to check the manufacture’s suggestions because there is at least one air fryer that suggests not using foil in their product
- Do not put foil on the bottom of the air fryer. Putting aluminum foil on the bottom of the air fryer can result in blockage of the heating element and the air circulation. This will interrupt heat distribution and cause uneven cooking. Only put the aluminum foil in the fryer basket
- Do not use a large amount of foil. Only use a little foil, that way the food will still cook evenly
- Do not use parchment paper. UNLESS it is high quality, high heat parchment paper. Lower quality parchment paper can and will catch on fire. Aluminum foil in the basket is your best bet
Is it always safe to use aluminum foil in an air fryer?
No, depending on the kind of food you’re cooking, you may not want to use aluminum foil in your air fryer. Tin foil causes a chemical reaction when it comes in contact with tomatoes and tomato products. Also any other highly acidic foods.
For instance, if you cover your lasagna with aluminum foil then bake it you will end up with black spots on the lasagna, little pieces of foil in the lasagna and holes in your aluminum foil.
That is because the foil starts to break down or “disintegrate” when it comes in contact with the tomato product. This process is sped up by the addition of heat.
Does this chemical reaction pose any health risks? While this is generally considered “safe to consume”, I for one do not want to be eating extra bits of foil. So it’s up to you but I would recommend avoiding the use of foil in an air fryer when cooking things with tomato.
Will this reaction leave a metallic taste on the food? It certainly can but it doesn’t always. As a general rule I avoid the use of aluminum foil with acidic foods.
Other foods to avoid putting in the air fryer
- Anything with a wet batter. It will not fry up like it does in a deep fryer and you’ll be left with a big mess
- Dry Pasta, rice or grains. These all need liquid to cook. Once they’ve been cooked with liquid then you can add them to the air fryer to heat or crisp up
If you’re ever unsure if the type of food you’re using is safe to use with foil, you can ere on the side of caution and just use the bare basket.
Can you put aluminum foil in an air fryer?
The simple answer is yes. There are just a few guidelines to follow for your own safety and well being. Generally speaking, using aluminum foil in an air fryer basket is a great way for home cooks to give themselves an easy cleanup!
Air fryer liners are also an option. While these are really handy, it’s just as easy to me to put a layer of foil in the bottom of the basket because I always have foil on hand. However if you prefer the liner then by all means, you can use that.
Just to reiterate, you do not want to put aluminum foil in the bottom of your air fryer. This will block your air flow. Only in the bottom of the air fryer basket, not all the way up to the basket edge.
Buying an air fryer
A lot of people aren’t sure what type of air fryer oven to buy. There are a lot of air fryer models out there. A good idea is to think about a couple important things first. The amount you want to spend, the size you have on your counter and the size you need to fit enough food to feed your family.
Here are a few different highly rated air fryers that would be a great buy depending what you’re looking for:
If you’re looking for more cooking tips, all of my recipes on In Krista’s Kitchen have a tips section to help guide you through!
For other things to do and not to do in your air fryer, check out this article from Food Network!